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Issues in the Global Market

Two major drivers restrict the use of certain materials in products: European Union (EU) regulations and the "green product" mandates of large electronics and auto manufacturers. The major European regulations are 1) the End of Life Vehicle Directive (ELV), 2) the WEEE and RoHS (the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment and the Restrictions on Hazardous Substances) Directives, and 3) the original "Dangerous Substances" (Restrictions on the Marketing and Use of Certain Dangerous Substances and Preparations) Directive which was replaced with the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation of CHemicals (REACH) Directive.

European Union WEEE and RoHS Directives

The WEEE directive addresses end-of-life management of electrical and electronic equipment (e.g., take-back and recycling of used computers and equipment). The RoHS directive deals with the types of materials that are used in manufacturing electrical and electronic equipment. RoHS restricts the use of lead, cadmium, mercury and certain brominated flame retardants in electronic equipment as of July 2006. Together, these Directives are major drivers for the electronics industry now, creating numerous technical and logistical concerns. TURI is focused primarily on RoHS, by helping companies to identify and test various alternatives for the banned substances.

REACH: Registration, Evaluation and Authorization of Chemicals

On 29 October 2003, the European Commission presented its proposals for a complete and radical review of the European Union's (EU) chemical substances policy. The resulting Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 set up a comprehensive system for the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation of CHemicals (REACH) that went into force in 2007.